Ask LH: How Can I Hide My Giant TV?

My giant TV gives me beautiful crisp clear picture that fills my living room perfectly. I love it when I'm using it, but when it's turned off I hate it. It's a big ugly square black-hole, sucking the life out of my living room space. Any creative DIY tips on how can I hide it when it's turned off? Thanks, Square Eyes

Big TV picture from Shutterstock

Dear Square Eyes,

If you think it's an eye-sore now, wait until you have kids — my TV is regularly covered in an ugly patchwork of tiny fingerprints that are only visible when the screen is turned off. (I hold Dora's stupid backpack fully responsible.)

A dead-simple and cost-effective solution is to purchase an "ambiance DVD" and leave it on a playback loop. Options include pseudo fireplaces, tropical aquariums and scantily-clad ladies posing suggestively: the choice is yours. On the downside, you'll be wasting a few extra bucks on electricity each month, but the aesthetics are arguably worth it.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could try building a lift contraption that enables your TV to completely disappear inside a custom made piece of furniture. You can find instructions on how it's done here. A makeshift cabinet with hinged doors would achieve the same result, although depending on your DIY skills, this could end up looking significantly uglier than the TV.

If that sounds too scary, you can get a mechanical solution professionally installed by companies like Ergomotion — but prices aren't cheap.

Alternatively, you could try covering your TV with a printed canvas via a printing service like snapfish. Just choose a high-res image/photo that's suitable for framing and specify the exact measurements you want to ensure it matches you television. You can then throw it over your TV set when it's not in use.

If anyone else has an alternative solution, let Square Eyes know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Chris, how about a modicum of consideration for the environment. I'm not an environmental nutter but I do recognise that leaving your TV on all day is bad.

      I think we can give the benefit of the doubt that they'd throw the DVD on when they were spending time in the room

      Like heist said, the DVD is just for when you're in the room and want something nice to look at.

        Yeah Chris, how dare you! Do you throw sacks of puppies off bridges on your days off? How can you sleep at night!? Won't somebody think of the children?

          Not on my days off, no. I only do it during my lunch breaks during the week.

    Ultralift also will custom make tv brackets that not only lift TVs but also descend them from the ceiling space (I don't work for them, I have just install one in the past for a customer)

    How Can I Hide My Giant TV?

    My giant TV gives me beautiful crisp clear picture that fills my living room perfectly. I love it when I’m using it, but when it’s turned off I hate it.

    Rich people problems

    Last edited 14/06/13 4:28 pm

      Maybe ten years ago. You can get a refirb 55" HDTV for $800.

    I'd rather a solution to the fingerprints. A fence is much uglier than an off tv, and it's just encouraging little people to climb (and fall) near the tv. I child head size dent in a tv is only funny when it's someone else tv, and the child is okay.

    Why not use some nice red curtains to cover your giant TV? If it's mounted on the wall then when you're not watching it you can pretend it's a window and when you are it will be like going to the theatre.

    Hey Square Eyes,

    You can hide your giant TV in my man-cave.

    Wow please, tell us more of your first world problems lol

    If you have a TV cabinet like the one in the picture, you could put one of those pull-blind things over it. When you don't want your TV to be seen, just pull it down. Could also print up the material via Snapfish (as mentioned above) to use, so instead of pulling down blank material, you're pulling down a picture.

    And with a small motor / home automation (or push button) setup, it could easily retract when you're trying to watch your movies.

    My other suggestion would be to rearrange the room so the TV looks nice. Our TV was an eyesore next to the window, but was rather nice looking when placed in a corner on an angle.

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